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Senate Bill 83 is going to eliminate one main option that Oklahoma parents currently have to object to the immunization of their child. Oklahoma law currently allows a parent to submit either 1) a certificate from a licensed doctor that a child’s condition is such that immunization would endanger their life or health, or 2) a written statement that objects to the immunization of their child. The parent’s objection to immunizations could be for any reason, religious, philosophical, or otherwise.
Removing this option would significantly limit the parent when they have concerns about giving one more vaccines to their child(ren). Even if a parent had provided all of the required immunizations but wanted to decline one specific vaccine they would not be able to enroll the child in school under Senate Bill 83 unless they obtained a certificate from their doctor stating that the vaccine would endanger the life or health of the child.
Under this bill virtually every child attending public or private school would have to have all of the immunizations required in Oklahoma. Currently a child entering Kindergarten would need 15-18 immunizations and a boy or girl who attends child care in Oklahoma would need anywhere from 16-22 total immunizations. For more information on the immunization go here: https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/IMM_School&Childcare_Guide_to_Imm_Reqs_OK_2016-17.pdf . So, hypothetically, if a parent didn’t want to give their child the Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine their only option would be to have a doctor state that this vaccine would endanger their child’s life or health if Senate Bill 83 were to pass. It is highly unlikely that any parent would ever be able to get their doctor to state this.
Please contact Senator Ervin Yen and give him this message in your own words (please be respectful but understand that Sen. Yen has made up his mind when it comes to immunizations):
“Please withdraw Senate Bill 83. I believe that a parent should be able to determine what immunizations their children should have. Removing the option for a parent to drop to a particular vaccine because of religious, philosophical, or personal objection undermines the fundamental right a parent has to determine what is in the best interest of their child. As a parent I should be trusted to make the best decision for my children. I am opposed to Senate Bill 83.”
You can reach Senator Yen at:
Phone: (405) 521-5543
Sen. Yen’s assistant is Laurie Nicoll
First Reading 02/06/2017
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